Ipoh (Malaysia), Sep 1 (IANS) Pakistan overcame their agony of missing out a place the 2014 World Cup to clinch third place in the ninth Asia Cup hockey tournament after a 3-1 win over hosts Malaysia in the play-off match at the Azlan Shah Stadium here Sunday.
The Pakistanis were worthy winners as they put aside their semi-final defeat to ensure at least a podium finish in the tournament.
Both Pakistan and Malaysia went into the match knowing that a lot of pride was at stake. The Malaysians have a World Cup berth in hand while the Pakistanis are out of the 2014 World Cup in the Netherlands.
The Pakistanis had the upper hand for most part of the first half. They had three penalty corners but were wasteful in front of goal and against the run of play Malaysia grabbed the lead in the 35th minute through a field goal by Faizal Saari.
That seemed to wake Pakistan from its slumber and the hitback almost immediatelty with Abdul Haseem Khan scored a field goal in the 35th minute to go off at half time at 1-1.
In the second half both teams continued to attack and were evenly matched.
Pakistan earned their fourth penalty corner in the 54th minute and this time captain Muhammad Imran sent his drag flick high to the left of goalie Roslan Jamaluddin.
With lead in the bag, the Pakistanis continued to attack and two minutes later Abdul Hassem scored his second of the match when he deflected in a Waseem Ahmad cross into the semi-circle.
The Malaysians tried to come back into the game and had several good chances to score but Pakistan's veteran goalkeeper Salman Akbar was at hand to deny them time and again.
Pakistan forward Abdul Haseem Khan was named man-of-the-match.